Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    May 26, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

5:30 pm
they want 400 kids on the field. if we had more turf fields, public schools and independent schools would use them during the day. i pay considerable right to rent the field during the day. that is more revenue to the park. that is for the use of turf fields. nobody wants to go out. nobody wants 400 kids during the day, because they are afraid it is winter ruin these grass fields. >> i am a strong supporter of this project. i am a resident of the outer sunset. our family has benefited tremendously from similar projects that have been accomplished by the foundation in other parts of the city. i believe that golden gate park
5:31 pm
is a treasure. it is not a museum. this needs to be changing, not static. i believe the eir documents the fact that the park has been changed throughout history to meet the needs of the residents of the city. clearly, the hot button issues for the project deployments are turf and lights. those are the elements of the project that are going to dramatically increase the plate hours for the residents of this city. with respect to the lights, lighting has been used throughout the park throughout its history. as early as the 1920's, there was letting on tennis courts. there are various pedestrian and the vehicle pathways' throughout the park. those are done to increase the use and enjoyment of the residents. as i travel through the bay
5:32 pm
area, i am blown away by how many other jurisdictions in public and private institutions are trying to weigh the cost- benefit analysis. many of them, i believe, make the decision that synthetic grass makes sense for sports fields. these projects have had a transformative effect on the neighborhoods they have been accomplished in. for me, crocker amazon has rekindled my love of the sport. playing on the turf, under the lights, as an adult. i am hopeful that one day this project would go forward and i will be able to stand on the fields with my children, and tell them how important it is to stand up for what you believe in and positively affirmed what you believe is a good thing. president buell: next speaker,
5:33 pm
please. >> i live in the sunset area. i am a lifelong soccer player. i decided to come out and speak for the turf field. i think it is a great thing that south sunset and amazon are turf fields. our group grew from six people to 145 people in two years. it helped a lot of new immigrants and adult players. we have been able to mix into the society. i am a certified professional in leed.
5:34 pm
i heard a lot about toxic materials, this and that. the fact is the most toxic thing is disinformation. if you pick the right material, i think the clean building council is not as people describe. it is good for the water and preservation, which we are short of. i think it is good for the environment. i read the eir with my environmental colleagues. they agreed that it is a very good report. that is very important, and minimizes injuries. we stopped playing at the west sunset playground as well as the beach chalet because we had so many injuries.
5:35 pm
we must play on turf fields. but it is so limited we do not have enough slots. we have booked them all. thank you for your time. president buell: are there any speakers that we have called? we are going to take a 10 minute break k >> the special joint meeting of the recreation and park commission and the planning commission is back in session. commissioners, we are still in public comment. >> william holmes, rocky, kenieta scott, john collins, marisa margle, keith englebrick.
5:36 pm
who is here? young chin, jessica roible, ryan farrell, jane midge, shelly m, sir, thank you for your help. but i think we got it. steve begley. >> steve! >> a little chippy tonight. >> thank you, guys, for being here. alternates a pleasure to -- it's a pleasure to speak with you. i know you have an interesting decision. my name is kenyatta scott, athletic director for abraham lincoln high school, teach mathematics. i've traveled extensively refereeing around the world and seeing soccer in many different levels. even when i was asked to come here to speak, was it pretty much in support of the beach
5:37 pm
chalet project but it was also, i have to speak the truth. i live right next to golden gate park so i'm a sunset person and i've come here from somewhere else but there are two things that concern me. one, it is the limited amount of field space that there is in the city and grass fields but i have to say, listening to everyone, i've been more conflicted than our pris recent decision he came to over the past few years because i am for the environment, i am for education and i am for kids being able to have a playing space. but the items are, i am for the field, i'm not for the lights. the reason i come to that conclusion is, it's very nice to go out and see the night sky. as an educator, i am dismayed when kids do not have a sense of wonder when they walk into my classroom, that they don't know the other heavenly bodies that are out there. we just had an amazing celestial event this past weekend with the
5:38 pm
eclipse and some kids don't get a chance to see that. what also i do like seeing in parents having the ability to take their kids to places but sometimes there's a time to say no, that if the kid is not up at the field, you can be around the dinner table, having your kids read and do other things. but the field, i am yes for, that's a compromise i am willing to make because being next to golden gate park, i would rather not have that there but it's necessary and that's a compromise i am for so if you accept this, i would ask that your decision be fields yes, lights, no. thank you. >> thank you. >> my name is steve begley. my understanding is that the commission today has to decide on the e.i.r., whether or not to verify it.
5:39 pm
i'm six foot tall and this light is maybe like a watt or so. can you imagine me if i'm 60 feet tall with 150,000 watts. that's a lot of light. that's kind of annoying, i would think. so i'm thinking, you know, i work in public relations and media and one of the things that i found out is that pretty much if you want to, you can get a report that can prove scientifically anything you want. and it's a good trick. i have this book here, called "trust us, we're experts" and it talks about how the industry manipulates experts in science in order to get what they want. i want you, when you look at this e.i.r., to pay attention to richard drury's letter he submitted that says look at some problems with the science. there are serious flaws in the research. now, earlier, you probably heard the kid who said, you know, i
5:40 pm
looked at science and i had lead in the grass and lead in the astro turf. you wouldn't necessarily pay attention to that kid, would you? right now, some of the science in the e.i.r. is almost as weak. they only have one test that they did on the particles that was for ingestion. they took one of the grasses, the tire particles, put it in a vile and shook it up and said there's no lead in there. that was it, just one test. that's the kind of research flaw that the people in new york found and that's why they have a moratorium on that. thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> thank you.
5:41 pm
let me adjust the mic. he was six feet tall. i'm 6'2", not quite as animated. my name is don collins, commissioner of athletics for the school district in the san francisco section. we have 13 high schools playing boys soccer and 13 playing girls soccer. in the middle schools, we've been running co-ed league with 22 schools, we're doubling it. they will now play boys 22, girls 22. we put a strain on the fields and it is very hard for us to get them. when, a long time ago, when we played solely on grass fields before the advent of the current synthetic turf load of fields, our seasons were often prolonged. there was an educational impact. students would leave school, they would go to a field, if it was closed, they would come back, the game would be rescheduled and they would
5:42 pm
return the next day. this was not in the best interest of education. we have benefited from the current level of synthetic turf fields but we must note that the side of town in richmond where beach chalet is going to be doesn't have them and it causes a travel issue for our young kids coming from marina middle school, lillianthal, those people have to travel a long way to gain the benefits. that has an educational impact so we support the e.i.r., we support the fields. we do so for athletic purposes. we do so for educational purposes. i thank you for having me here today. thank you very much. >> next speaker. >> my name is dave fromeer and unfortunately i'm 5'6".
5:43 pm
seriously, i wanty to thank everyone for their patience and for their sincerity and for the dignity of this proceeding. i grew up living in the richmond district a block from golden gate park. my family spent every weekend in golden gate park. my parents love the flora and fauna and have always been very active in environmental issues. i first discovered a soccer ball when i was 13 1/2 or 14 and five years later in 1961, 50 years ago, our soccer team, the under 19 boys team, won the united states national championship. this is the first youth team from west of the mississippi river to win a national championship and to this day the only san francisco youth team that has ever won a national
5:44 pm
championship. most of the kids, incidentally, were poor kids from all over the city and beach chalet was our haven, our heaven. and it was an amazing opportunity for us to grow up playing soccer there. i wanted to say that since i started coaching in 1960 and i've coached about 70,000 kids in that time, and i've also been very concerned about environmental issues. and i wanted to say that i am a little conflicted as the previous speaker indicated, and there are many, many things they am concerned with in terms of the e.i.r. and the plan to go forward, but i think that the greater good is definitely with
5:45 pm
the kids and there's a strong need, very strong need for this turf field at beach chalet. >> thank you. >> and i don't want talk too long but i advocate it with all my heart. thank you. >> thank you very much. ok. sean shannon, jay moore, libby revat, edward towe, helen quong, giddy burrows, luke jillian, michael sward, steven curo, shelly er, sophie brian, catherine howard, patrick dowd,
5:46 pm
francisco ris. >> good evening, commissioners, thanks very much for hearing this tonight. this is my son, he wants to say a few words first. >> my name is lehman. i play on the travel team. 50% of my games are canceled because the fields are closed. when i was -- i would like the field to be turned into astro turf. >> so, commissioners, i coach liam's team with a couple of other parents. we've been very active and involved with kids soccer in the city. we've seen how successful crocker amazon has been. you go there, it's an incredible sight to see on a saturday morning. there are hundreds of kids that are there and i think beach chalet, i play there, played
5:47 pm
soccer there, played irish football there, it's a great facility. i think it could be used to its potential. we've got rugby and we've got lacrosse, we've got baseball, we've got so many sports that would benefit greatly to have the field astro turf'd. i know everybody's concerned about the impacts against the environment. i think golden gate park is a phenomenal place and down through the years it's kind of changed as the needs of the city have changed. it's constantly changing. so please accept the e.i.r. i think it would be a great benefit for young families and families with kids and they'll get great enjoyment out it.
5:48 pm
>> commissioners, steve kerrier. you've had a wonderful week, haven't you? >> yes. >> i'm president of the outer merchants and residents association and a few years ago i was chair of the crocker amazon crock advisory board when it was brought to my attention that we were the third park to be accepted in this turf project and i went head over heels in this. not only did we get the turf project but we also courted by the san francisco giants and 49ers to get the football field and baseball fields at crocker because it was such a popular park to play sports in. it was the best thing that's ever happened to crocker amazon to get city fields to come in and put in those soccer fields. i went to many, many meetings where people were screaming about the lighting -- there was
5:49 pm
too much lighting in the neighborhood, the trees were coming down. the trees were old trees, 100-year-old cypress that were dead, needed to come down, and the lighting has added to the benefit of the neighborhood, not only in safety but in park safety. i cannot tell you, i cannot assure you enough that this is the best thing and i've been advocating -- i've been doing this for like 14 years now and i remember when i moved into my neighborhood 20 years ago when you said you couldn't go to crocker amazon park because you would get robbed or burglarized or raped and we made that park to what it is and i think with the beach chalet, the previous speaker told me that some parts of that part of golden gate park is pretty seedy. you know what, let's make it better. and it's for the kids. it's for the youth, it's for the
5:50 pm
soccer teams that want to stay in the city and play here. thank you. >> hi, my name is patrick dowd and i play for the over 14 team. i've played soccer since i was 3 years old and i play five times a week for two different teams and i do not know one kid who doesn't prefer playing on turf fields as opposed to grass fields in san francisco. turf fields, they don't get rained out for games. we've had a schedule many games this past season due to rain and it also elevates the game play. >> hi, i'm mary pat dowd, patrick's mom. and i have six children. my oldest is 21, my youngest is 3. i've driven miles across this city trying to get fields. i live on the north side closer
5:51 pm
to the marina on steiner field and not far from kimball field and it's glorious when we have a game or practice at kimball. that resonates with me, the argument that we need to get another option in the city location-wise. i support the lights. i think that's easily controlled. you flip them off if we have an eclipse we want to witness or a special event. if you have adults out there playing pickup games in leagues, we need everybody off the couch, you know. this has been so focused on the youth but honestly, when i see the man who had his child that needed to go to bed, when i hear about all the people who are socializing on a soccer field and not in a bar or not elsewhere, i think we need to support the adults with lights. so i support the turf, i support the lights. i thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> good evening, thank you very much for allowing me to speak. my name is shelly er.
5:52 pm
i've lived in the city for over 25 years. i'm an environmentalist early on, an environmental investor, healthcare specialist and financier and senior executive of a start-up medical device company in the city. i speak from all of these backgrounds. just as i have evolved, i think also the youth of the park and the general plan must evolve to meet the needs of the city. first, as an environmentalist, i deeply care about the environment. there are parts of the park which are those natural places which i adore taking my children to. but there are also parts under the general plan which have been set aside for recreational activities and i think that this is designated as that and should be kept so and should be put to its best use and more fully utilized in a safe manner. second, as a healthcare specialist, others have alluded to the fact that we have an obesity epidemic and how are you going to get children to learn
5:53 pm
to change their lifestyles as well as adults and others to get up off the couch. we must teach our children this now at an early age, witness all of these children who have been here. third, as a business executive, i have employees in san francisco. every day when i hear about them having to make the choice between living here and moving, it is about their children, it is about having a quality of life. this can tip that scale for people to stay in the city versus many of my friends who have moved to have better access to sports for their children and outdoor activities. fourth, as a player and referee, rain-outs and other safety issues, gopher holes and other things, not to mention the access for many, many, many additional players. if you go to crocker at 6:00, 7:00 or 8:00 at night and see the composition of people who are playing there, the community which is coming together there, it is a wonderful community activity. and finally as a parent of 13,
5:54 pm
16-year-olds, sports are critical and they have to be able to play in the city close to where their schools are as the head of the athletics spoke. as a resident, i urge you, and as a business person with employees in the city paying my taxes, i urge you to approve of this e.i.r. >> thank you. are there any other speakers who i've called? >> good evening, commissioners, catherine howard, s.f. ocean edge. you got a smaller copy of our report. you have a digital one which is this size and we didn't print all these, but if you want one printed, please let me know. we ask you not to certify the e.i.r., we ask you not to approve the project and not to approve the coastal zone permit application. i'm also going to submit some letters regarding other aspects of the e.i.r. and flaws with the e.i.r. i want to give you an example that's in the report about our lighting expert who investigated
5:55 pm
the e.i.r. and what was said in it and he said that the e.i.r. fails to consider the impact of fog on the lights. he calculates the brightness of the lights in foggy nights will be 10 to 20 times what it would be without the fog. of course, we never have fog in the western part of san francisco, but if we did, that's what would happen. imagine, though, the impact on wildlife in the park. imagine the impact on the people, homes looking down on the park, and imagine the impact on the people who go to the beach at night. i'm sure you've all gone to the beach to watch the sunset. these lights are going to be on from dusk until 10:00 every night of the year. the sunset and sterling along the prom nod along ocean beach will be totally changed, like strolling along next to yankee stadium, something like that. the people who go to the fire rings on the beach are impacted. the people who go with their families to look at the stars at land's end will be impacted because of the light. there is a win-win solution.
5:56 pm
we support soccer. this is all about location, location, location. we ask you to consider that the e.i.r. consider the compromise solutions and that you also develop a vision for the western end of the park where the construction yard which is an attractive nuisance is cleaned up, the soccer fields are renovated with real grass, the ocean beach master plan talks about a connection between the park and the beach that's also natural. we have an opportunity to have a glorious, magnificent western end of golden gate park that is beautiful and natural and that's what we would like to see happen. thank you. >> ellen edleson, john barbara, natalie portis, alex potente, al fenton, francisco reyes.
5:57 pm
>> hi. didn't realize how late it was. thanks for staying up this late with us to hear our comments. i'm a native san franciscan and live in the sunset district. i grew up there and right now i can see the lights of the other playground that's out at 40th and vicente or that area. and that is disturbing and this is going to be as disturbing and as was previously said, the fog will accentuate those lights. we in san francisco think we're so green but when we drive away the wildlife with the lights and fake lawn, the children are not going to have an opportunity or not much of an opportunity to experience wildlife and the natural areas that we take such pride in in san francisco, the few remnants we have left.
5:58 pm
while i realize this is not a naturalist space, it is a naturalistic space and there's a lot of wildlife there and it's very much underappreciated. and this is just such a false choice between soccer and the environment. all these kids who are out here, they deserve to be able to play soccer and as was previously said, it's really location, location, and i also urge you to look at other alternatives for this project. this is not the place and it does violate the golden gate park master plan for the west end. the east end is very built up and that's what it's -- what's happened over the years but we don't need this on the west end. we need a place for tranquility, for quiet, for strolling, for observing the wildlife out there, for it just being peaceful and quiet and by the way, a turf has been used the
5:59 pm
term has been used so much today, refers to lawn, not necessarily to plastic or green grass lawn, but just to lawn, just for the record. thank you. >> remy towne, barbara delaney and lorraine wolrough. >> my name is barbara delaney. i live in the outer sunset and i have lived there since 1978 and i'm probably at the soccer fields four or five times a week so i really know the area. i know all the paths around it. i know the whole feel of it. and it is in the western end of the park. so even in midday, you are likely to be walking in thick fog. fog. it's almost mystical out there.